Prevalence of Oropharyngeal Group B Streptococcus Colonization in Mothers, Family, and Health Care Providers

Abstract
Objective
To determine the prevalence and serotype of oropharyngeal Group B Streptococcal (GBS) colonization of mothers, their family & friends, and health care providers of recently delivered patients as a potential reservoir of neonatal exposure to GBS.

Methods
This is a prospective, single-center observational study of: (1) patients, (2) their family and friends, and (3) health care providers all of whom may come in close contact with neonates. Oropharyngeal GBS colonization and serotype was determined.

Results
Three hundred and seventy three samples were collected. The prevalence of oropharyngeal GBS colonization among all study participants was 23.1% (N = 86). The most commonly found serotypes were 1b (12.8%, N = 11), III (27.9%, N = 24), and V (17.4%, N = 15). The prevalence of oropharyngeal GBS colonization among mothers was 26% (N = 31/121), 22% (N = 39/178) in family and friends, and 21.6% (N = 16/74) in health care providers.

Conclusion
Group B Streptococcus colonizes the oropharynx in 1 in 5 mothers, family and friends, and health care providers who come in direct contact with neonates. Further research is needed to determine if this potential reservoir for neonatal exposure could lead to early or late onset neonatal GBS colonization or infection.

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